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Mitchell scores high in state report cards

Mitchell residents will have to vote at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy, 821 N. Capitol St., today. Voters can cast their ballots for the mayoral race, a one-year school board seat, a three-year school board seat and members of Ward 3 for their council representative. (Matt Gade/Republic)

The Mitchell School District topped almost all of the state averages in the recent release of the 2016 South Dakota State Report Cards.

On Tuesday, the state's report card, which is a review of all schools' performance based on various indicators, was released by the South Dakota Department of Education.

Among the report card includes the four-year cohort graduation rate, in which Mitchell boasts a 93.1 percent graduation rate, 9 percentage points higher than the state's average of 84.1 percent.

"We're very proud of that fact," said Superintendent Joseph Graves on Tuesday.

Graves credits this rate to a number of reasons including the function of all programs, kindergarten through 12th grade.

Academic growth is a new indicator for elementary and middle schools, according to the S.D. DOE. It measures how students compare to their peers with a similar score history, and projects a student's future performance. In math academic growth, Mitchell boasted a percentage of 56.31, while the state had a 51.02 percent.

The only category Mitchell scored below the state average was in English Language Arts (ELA) academic growth, falling below the state average by 2 percent. But overall, the district met most of their goals, Graves said.

"It's always mixed feelings," Graves said. "You're happy with the general student achievement at the district and you're happy with individual areas. And you're always hoping for a little better in other areas."

The Ethan School District also scored high marks in their performance indicators, including a 92.05 percent attendance. This indicator looks at the amount of students attending 94 percent or more of enrolled school days. The state average sits at 80.23 percent on attendance.

Another performance indicator includes math college readiness, an area the Ethan School District held not-so-high numbers. The state average for math college readiness sits at 65.5 percent, and Ethan scored 45 percent.

Math was also not a strong subject in the Mount Vernon School District. The math academic growth for the state averages at 51.02 percent, while Mount Vernon scored 41.67.

Mount Vernon balances this number out, however, boasting a high career readiness rate at 94.4 percent, where the state averages 92.3 percent.